New energy retailer Social Energy enters Australian market

social energy, SA Power Networks, home battery, solar homes

Smart energy retailer Social Energy has opened its doors to customers in Australia, offering to reduce electricity bills to zero with a green energy package and exclusive Duracell home solar battery system.

Social Energy focuses on making solar panels and battery storage that delivers bigger savings for homeowners by offering game-changing technology, a competitive energy plan and market-leading solar feed-in tariff. Customers could save $2182 off their energy bill in the first year alone, when purchasing a solar and battery system from an approved solar battery retailer, based on a bespoke quote. 

The green energy retailer uses its artificial intelligence platform and cutting-edge virtual power plant technology to optimise solar-connected battery storage. It learns about a customer’s energy usage and makes informed decisions about how to store, manage and distribute solar energy. It generates revenue for its users by helping maintain and balancing the electricity grids across the country, reducing electricity bills by up to 100 per cent.

Social Energy offers customers who purchase and install solar panels and a battery a feed-in tariff of 40c per kWh–a tariff not seen in Australia for almost a decade. This rate is more than four times the average in New South Wales (7.67c per kWh), South Australia (8.77c per kWh) or Queensland (7.01c per kWh), based upon data from EnergyMadeEasy. Customers will receive this market-leading export tariff for the first 300kWh they export each quarter–with a secondary standard feed-in tariff, which is still higher than the average in the region. 

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Social Energy will pay its customers with a 9.6kWh or larger battery a minimum top up of $450 per year for the solar they don’t use. Each customer will receive Social Energy’s 40c./kWh feed-in tariff up to 1200kWh (300kWh per quarter), after which they will receive an uncapped competitive feed-in tariff. Some customers may see their electricity costs drop as low as zero, with some lower-usage customers receiving a pay-out each quarter instead of a bill.

The money-saving energy retailer also offers a competitive import tariff to ensure that if its customers need to buy electricity from the grid, it remains affordable. As a result, the energy retailer will flip the typical relationship with customers on its head, paying them more for selling their unused solar energy than what they’re charged for the energy they buy. For example, instead of a customer purchasing energy at an average of 23.25c./kWh in the NSW Ausgrid region and getting paid an average of 7.43c./kWh for what they sell back to the retailer, Social Energy will charge its customers just 21.56c./kWh in NSW Ausgrid, whilst paying them 40c./kWh for the first 300kWh each quarter. 

Social Energy is working in partnership with Duracell, a globally iconic consumer battery company, which means customers will have access to the Duracell Energy Bank 2.

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The cost involved in having solar panels, a battery and Social Energy installed at home is approximately $12,000 for a 6.6kWp tier 1 solar installation and an 11.6kWh SolaX battery system, connected with a Social Energy Hub. However, Social Energy’s unique offering, alongside the finance packages and government grants available, means many homeowners could receive a lower total bill than they’re paying right now for their energy alone. 

Some customers can reduce their electricity bills and go green, with $0 upfront, on a finance package to spread the cost of the total system price over a variety of terms up to 10 years, where the savings made from the system can contribute to and, in some cases, offset the monthly or annual cost of the loan.  

With additional government incentives for battery systems, some customers in South Australia can expect to have covered all initial costs in under four years, after which they will be benefitting from very low, zero or even negative energy bills. For example, a customer in the South Australia region with an annual consumption of 6000 kWh and generation of 8000 kWh would have a payback time of under four years, based on a $12,000 cash purchase of a solar panel and battery system, with a $2088 government grant. 

Having a battery installed at home can also offer a vital backup during power cuts, but by integrating with Social Energy’s game-changing technology and market-leading tariffs this can be done in a way that makes financial sense. 

Social Energy announced its Australia launch in late 2019, with shareholder Shane Warne.